Flagging concerns regarding high instances of frauds under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, West Bengal’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra has written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asking for the setting up of task force having state and Central officers to detect all cases of tax evasion and take action against racketeers for recovery of evaded tax.
In a letter dated Tuesday, Mitra has also asked for compilation of a list of all cancelled GSTINs with PAN, email and other details, to be shared with all officers so that the same fraud is not investigated by multiple agencies. Also, he said the new return system with invoice matching needs to be put in place in October (for large taxpayers) and in January (for all taxpayers) “without fail”. Government data presented in Rajya Sabha last month had showed that 9,385 cases of tax fraud involving amount of Rs 45,682.83 crore has been detected by authorities under the GST regime since its rollout from July 1, 2017. Mitra said this amount is “understated” since it doesn’t include complete data of frauds under SGST, which if compiled for all states may show tax evasion of over Rs 1 lakh crore.
Mitra has requested that the topic of GST frauds and its impact on overall GST collections needs to be discussed in depth in the upcoming GST Council meeting.